How to Enjoy Your Food

This post is going to take a little different approach to healthy eating – I want to discuss the lost art of how to enjoy your food. With all the talk of moderation, elimination, good food choices for proper nutrition, and the dangers such as mercury in fish, etc., the enjoyment and pleasure that can come from eating gets lost in the shuffle.

My mantra is – love deeply, laugh often, and live well.

Image by Monkey_Business
Image by Monkey_Business

Knowing how to enjoy your food is a big part of living well, below are 6 tips that will help as you build your new, healthy lifestyle.

  1. Forgive Yourself— No one is perfect. You will have good days and bad days. Do your best each and every day; and, forgive yourself when you are less than perfect in your efforts to eat well.
  2. Plan in Advance — Usually, if you plan in advance for a parties or any situation in which your healthy eating habits may be challenged, you will be able to avoid nutritional temptations and pitfalls.
  3. Share with Others — Believe it or not, people are fascinated by people who eat healthy foods. In fact, they may be a little jealous and would actually enjoy what you are eating. So, bring enough to share whenever possible. You may be bored with your hummus and carrots, or your fresh fruit bowl; but, start sharing and watch what happens.
  4. Educate Yourself — The more you read about nutrition and healthy eating, the more you will understand how and what to eat to ensure the best health possible.
  5. Enjoy the People around You – Eating is part of the social fabric of life, and is deeply ingrained in your psyche. Yet, because many people live alone, or are always in a hurry, this fact is often ignored rather than experienced. Whenever possible, eat with others and enjoy their company. Let the food be secondary.
  6. Try New Things – Eating healthy does not mean your diet has to be bland and uninteresting – nor must you force yourself to eat foods you hate. There are so many wonderful varieties of food, if you don’t like something – don’t eat it. But….it is important to try new foods (and give them a good chance). The more variety of healthy foods you can get into your diet, the higher your nutrition levels will be, and your enjoyment of food will increase exponentially.

The fact is, when you first change your diet to focus on healthy eating and nutrition levels over pleasure, you may feel let down and depressed. But, I promise, if you stay with it and follow the tips listed above, it will all change. You will have more energy; your health will improve; your taste buds will come alive and food will begin to taste better; if you are overweight, the pounds will slowly drop off and your weight will normalize. You will gradually begin to realize that you actually prefer healthier, lower fat options. Veggies you could not stand two months ago will taste deliciously wonderful today.

This is a journey worth taking. However, it is not a weekend frolic. It takes time and commitment to stay the course. The result, however, will be one of the most rewarding you will ever experience. A healthy lifestyle is a gift you can give yourself and everyone you love.